So far in 2022, 11 million people from 200-plus countries around the world have benefitted from the Hymnary website! Thank you to all who use and all who support it with gifts of time, talent and treasure. If you feel moved to support our work today with a gift of any amount and a word of encouragement, we would be grateful. You can donate online at our secure giving site. Or, if you'd like to make a gift by check, please send it to:, Calvin University, 3201 Burton Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. May the hope, love, joy and peace of Advent be yours this day and always.

One Sweetly Solemn Thought

One sweetly solemn thought

Author: Phoebe Cary (1852)
Published in 657 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 One sweetly solemn tho't
Comes to me o'er and o'er,
I'm nearer home today
Than I have been before.

Nearer my home, (Beautiful home,)
Nearer my home, (Heavenly home,)
Soon will my work be done,
Then I shall rest at home.

2 Nearer my Father's house,
Where many mansions be;
Nearer the great white throne,
Nearer the crystal sea. [Refrain]

3 For even now my feet
May stand upon its brink;
I may be nearer home,
Nearer than now I think. [Refrain]

4 O let me ready be
Whene'er the call shall come
To bid the world farewell
And gladly leave for home. [Refrain]

5 My heart is over there,
I often long for rest,
And there to join my voice
With all the pure and blest. [Refrain]

Source: His Fullness Songs #491

Author: Phoebe Cary

Phoebe Cary, (1824-1871) was born and raised in Mount Healthy in Hamilton County, Ohio. Her family came from Lyme, New Hampshire to Ohio when her grandfather was given land in return for his service in the Continental Army. She was the younger sister of Alice Cary (1820-1871). She and Alice submitted poetry to religious periodicals. Phoebe remained in Ohio and continued to write many hymns, including, "One sweetly solemn thought." Mary Louise VanDyke… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: One sweetly solemn thought
Title: One Sweetly Solemn Thought
Author: Phoebe Cary (1852)
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


One sweetly solemn thought. Anticipation of Heaven. This piece was not intended for public use, nor is it a suitable metre for musical treatment, yet it has won universal acceptance and popularity. In some instances this has been attained by change of metre as in the Supplement to the Baptist Psalms & Hymns 1880, No. 1185. Johnson's Encyclopedia is in error in saying it was "written at the age of 17." The Congregational Quarterly for Oct., 1874, says, "it was written, she tells us, in the little back third story bedroom, one Sabbath morning in 1852, on her return from church." This statement shows that it was composed when she was 28, and not 17. The popularity of the hymn in Great Britain arose mainly through its use in the Evangelistic services of Messrs. Moody and Sankey. In the Protestant Episcopal Hymns for Church and Home, Phila., 1860, No. 383, it is given as "A sweetly solemn thought." [Rev. F. M. Bird, M.A.]

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Instances (1 - 6 of 6)

Ambassador Hymnal #614

Church Hymnal, Mennonite #310

Page Scan

The A.M.E. Zion Hymnal #558

The Baptist Hymnal #636


The Cyber Hymnal #5235


Timeless Truths #573

Include 651 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us


It looks like you are using an ad-blocker. Ad revenue helps keep us running. Please consider white-listing or subscribing to eliminate ads entirely and help support